2019 Awards Applications Due March 15, 2019

The Lambda Alpha National Executive Council members encourage the Lambda Alpha chapter faculty sponsors to submit student applications for the 2019 Lambda Alpha annual awards.

Please select one undergraduate senior nominee per chapter for the National Scholarship. Please nominate one graduate student per chapter for the Graduate Student Research Grants. The graduate student nominee should request support for research in one of the three award categories: archeology, bio-anthropology, or cultural/linguistic anthropology.

Well-qualified candidates have a reasonable chance to win. To ensure a quality set of candidates, applicants that are not society members will be allowed to join the honor society. New applicants must be accepted by their chapter by the award deadline. To apply for membership, chapter faculty sponsors should submit a printed, signed application form and the $25 lifetime membership fee before the competition deadline. The application deadline for awards and membership applications is March 15, 2019. Printed, official copies of student transcripts and the signed release forms must be postmarked by March 15, 2019 to be eligible for the awards competition. Please submit membership and award applications to the Lambda Alpha National Office.  The Lambda Alpha awards rules and applications are posted on the Awards page of the web site.

2018 Lambda Alpha Newsletter is now available.
Click on the link below to download a copy.

Lambda Alpha Newsletter 2018

Congratulations to the 2018 Lambda Alpha Awards Winners

The Lambda Alpha Executive Council congratulates the 2018 Lambda Alpha awards winners.  The council also thanks the student society members and faculty sponsors for the national scholarship and graduate research grant applications and paper competition submissions that were received in 2018.  In recognition of Lambda Alpha’s 50th anniversary, a total of $30,000 was awarded to student chapter members that participated in the scholarships, grants and paper competitions.  Additional information about the awards recipients is featured in the 2018 newsletter.

50th Anniversary
Lambda Alpha Founder’s

Student Paper Competition Winners

Undergraduate Student Category

1st Place
Rashika Verma, Beta of Georgia, Emory University

Climate Refugees:
Redefining Refugee Status and the Implications for Cultural Identities

2nd Place
Nicholas Watts, Epsilon of Tennessee, Middle Tennessee State University

The Mariota Trichotomy:
The Projection of Ethnic and Racial Labels on an NFL Quarterback

3rd Place
Lauren Clark, Beta of Montana, University of Montana

Human Attractiveness:
The Contribution of Biochemical Heterozygosity to Olfactory Sexual Selection

Graduate Student Category

1st Place
Crystal M. Riley Koenig, Beta of Missouri, Washington University, St. Louis

Primate Documentaries:
A Historical Analysis of Subgenres, Accuracy, and Impact

2nd Place
Ashlee Hart, Lambda of New York, State University of New York at Buffalo

Unraveling Ceramic Manufacturing:
A New Approach to Interaction Theorizing

3rd Place
Sarah Boudreaux, Gamma of Texas, University of Texas, San Antonio

Landscape: A Fruitful, yet Enigmatic & Multifaceted Concept in Archaeology

Honorable Mentions

Mackie Black
Epsilon of Michigan, Albion College

Abby Block
Eta of Missouri, Saint Louis University

Sarah Burack
Beta of Missouri, Washington University in St. Louis

Hannah Hoover
Beta of Louisiana, Tulane University

Daniel Joseph
Delta of Kentucky, University of Kentucky

Hamna Khuld
Beta of New Jersey, Montclair State University

Jacob Souch
Alpha of West Virginia, West Virginia University

Recipients of the XLIII Lambda Alpha Senior Scholarships

Karissa A. Annis
Dr. David D. Meek, Faculty Sponsor
University of Alabama, Beta of Alabama

Emily Haney
Dr. Faith Warner, Faculty Sponsor
Bloomsburg University, Zeta of Pennsylvania

Benjamin M. Merrill
Dr. Barbara J. Dilly, Faculty Sponsor
Creighton University, Alpha of Nebraska

Lambda Alpha Graduate Research Grants Recipients


Nancy K. Williams
Dr. Danielle MacDonald, Faculty Sponsor
University of Tulsa, Alpha of Oklahoma

Lin Yi-Ling
Dr. E.A. Quinn, Faculty Sponsor
Washington University in St. Louis, Beta of Missouri

Cultural Anthropology

M. Ruth Dike
Dr. Mark Whitaker, Faculty Sponsor
University of Kentucky, Delta of Kentucky

Ariel N. Noffke
Dr. Donald Pollock, Faculty Sponsor
State University of New York at Buffalo, Lambda of New York

Biological Anthropology
Emily J. Kate
Dr. Sarah McClure, Faculty Sponsor
Pennsylvania State University, Eta of Pennsylvania

Jennifer R. Torpie-Sweterlitsch
Dr. Patrick Gallagher, Faculty Sponsor
University of Texas at San Antonio, Gamma of Texas

National Office News

50th Logo

Lambda Alpha Turns 50, 1968-2018

March 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Lambda Alpha.  The society was founded in March 1968 by Darrell Casteel, an anthropology student at Wichita State University.  Please see the History and Archives web page for a brief summary of the society’s history.  To celebrate Lambda Alpha’s 50th golden anniversary, several commemorative initiatives were implemented in 2018.

More Scholarships and Grants in 2018

The primary purpose of Lambda Alpha is to recognize and reward academic excellence among anthropology students.  Consequently, an expanded number of scholarships and grants from four annually in previous years (ca. $10,000 total) to twenty-three awards were distributed in 2018, totaling $30,000.  Three undergraduate senior scholarships ($5,000 each), six graduate student research grants ($2,000 each), and $3,000 in student paper prizes (14 total prizes) were awarded in 2018.

50th Anniversary
Lambda Alpha Founder’s
Student Paper Competition

In addition to the annual scholarship and grant awards, a 2018 student paper competition was sponsored by the society, called the 50th Anniversary Lambda Alpha Founder’s Student Paper Competition. The purpose of the paper competition is to recognize the dedication of past students, faculty, and chapter staff over the past half-century that have supported Lambda Alpha through their membership, mentorship, and assistance.  The paper competition offered $3,000 in fourteen paper prizes and features both an undergraduate and graduate student awards category.  The winning papers from the competition will be considered for publication in the Lambda Alpha Journal as a 2018 50th anniversary thematic volume.  The submission deadline for the student paper competition was April 15, 2018.

If the 50th anniversary student paper competition is a success, then the society will consider periodically sponsoring paper prizes in the future, based on chapter responses and the effort involved in reviewing the amount of submitted papers.

New Lambda Alpha Merchandise

In addition to a larger number of awards, a new line of Lambda Alpha merchandise is being offered in 2018.  Featuring the Lambda Alpha logo, the new merchandise consists of t-shirts and baseball-style caps.  Graduation regalia stoles and pins are also still available from the society.  See the Merchandise page on the society’s web site for further details.

Student and Faculty Highlights

In 2018 the 50th anniversary newsletter will be distributed via email between early to middle fall, after the society awards have been distributed to students in spring.  For the 50th anniversary newsletter we ask that chapter faculty sponsors consider submitting professional biographical sketches of their former students that illustrate the Lambda Alpha ideals of academic excellence and achievement.  We would especially like to showcase career-related student success stories from the chapters located across the country.  This is a great opportunity to highlight noteworthy former students, so please let us know about your chapter’s high-achievers over the years.  The professional summaries can be concise or detailed.  We also welcome professional sketches about noteworthy former chapter faculty sponsors that helped encourage and support student achievement and success.  Chapter photographs, past and present, are also encouraged for the 50th anniversary newsletter.

New Chapter Recruitment Drive:
Twenty-Five at Fifty Summer Update

As we pass the middle point of 2018, the National Office extends a thank you and welcome to the following departments that have sponsored new Lambda Alpha chapters since late 2017 to June 2018. We especially thank the faculty sponsors for their efforts and dedication in creating the new chapters listed below.

Gamma of Alabama, Auburn University
Dr. Kristina A. Shuler

Iota of Ohio, Kenyon College
Dr. Sam Pack

Epsilon of Michigan, Albion College
Dr. Brad Chase

Omicron of Pennsylvania, Ursinus College
Dr. Lauren Wynne

Epsilon of Tennessee, Middle Tennessee State University
Dr. Andrew Wyatt

Iota of Virginia, University of Mary Washington
Dr. Jason C. James

Beta of South Carolina, Clemson University
Dr. David Markus

Alpha Beta of California, California State University, East Bay
Dr. David Matsuda

Beta of Utah, Weber State University
Dr. Ronald Holt

As reported earlier in 2018, a new chapter recruitment drive, called Twenty-Five at Fifty, is being recognized for Lamba Alpha’s 50th anniversary in 2018.  The goal of the chapter drive is to add 25 new chapters in 2018.  Based on the 9 new chapters listed above, the recruitment goal of 25 chapters has been almost halfway achieved by the middle of 2018.

To commemorate Lambda Alpha’s 50th anniversary, the national office is proactively recruiting new chapters in 2018.  Our goal this year is to recruit twenty-five new chapters during the 50th anniversary year in 2018.  To help with the chapter recruiting drive we encourage chapter faculty sponsors to encourage colleagues in other anthropology departments to consider establishing a new Lambda Alpha chapter.  Information about establishing  a new chapter is located on the For Faculty Sponsors page of this web site.

For existing chapters, we encourage departments and faculty sponsors to recruit new chapter members during 2018.  If you have an existing chapter in your department that is inactive or dormant, consider reviving the chapter.  Information about reactivating dormant chapters is located on the For Faculty Sponsors web page of this site.

New Virtual Office, Administrative Coordinator, and Contact Information in 2018

Since 1985 the Lambda Alpha National Office was located in the Department of Anthropology at Ball State University.  To reduce operating costs and increase funding for student awards, the Lambda Alpha National Office left Ball State in December 2017.  The Lambda Alpha National Office has since adopted a virtual office format.   In addition to the new virtual office format, the society has also developed a new web page.  The web page has a simple web address, is designed to have a visitor-friendly navigation format, and is intended to encourage communication with anthropology students and faculty sponsors.  The new web page address is  The society’s new email address is  Melanie Cabak, a historical archaeologist with an M.A. degree in anthropology from the University of South Carolina (1991), has replaced Barb Di Fabio as administrative coordinator for the society.  Barb retired in December 2017.  The Lambda Alpha Executive Council members thank her for her twenty years of service to the society from 1997 to 2017.  The new office address information is listed on the Contact page of the society’s web site.

2017 Lambda Alpha Newsletter
The 2017 Lambda Alpha newsletter is available in pdf format.
Click on the link below for a copy of the newsletter.
Lambda Alpha Newsletter 2017

2018 Chapter Directory
The 2018 chapter directory is posted on the Contact site page.  If faculty sponsors have chapter address or contact information corrections, please send them to the national office via email:, subject line Directory.

In the News

Human ancestors in China by 2.1mya

Humans evolved via mosaic, multilineal process, according to new study

Drought and heatwave results in new henge discovery at Newgrange

See the news links below for more anthropology news items.

News Links

Anthropology News

Archaeology News

Science News



LA Seal Anniv

Web site editor: Mark Groover
Last site update October 23, 2018

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